Mercy Corps

Consultant (Complex Programs Guidance & Curricula Development)

Mercy Corps

Job Description




Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Mercy Corps often implements high value and sophisticated programs within particularly challenging contexts and circumstances. The opportunity for Mercy Corps to achieve significant impact, develop cutting-edge innovations, and strategically influence stakeholders and donors through these programs is tremendous. At the same time, the risk to participants as well as the financial and reputational risk to the agency if program implementation goes awry is significant. As a result, in 2013 Mercy Corps created the Complex Program system to maximize opportunities and manage risk for these types of high-potential, high-risk programs by providing a set of additional requirements that such programs would be held to, along with additional support and resources.

As stated in the Complex Program Guidelines: “The intent of the Complex Program process is to ensure that Mercy Corps implements Complex Programs on-scope, on-time, and on-budget, while capitalizing on the impact and thought leadership potential of these programs.” When the Complex Program system was created in 2013, there were six programs that met the designation criteria; as of Fall 2022 there are now 22 programs that are designated as Complex.

Consultant Purpose:

The Complex Program Guidelines outline the various guidelines and processes that are involved in being a Complex Program. The guidelines themselves were written in 2013 and were updated in 2016. Since the 2016 update, the number of Complex Programs has grown exponentially and the application of the Complex Programs process has continued to evolve. Various teams have found ways to adapt and adjust the Complex Programs process to better suit their needs, yet these different innovations and adaptations have not been properly captured nor analyzed for further use. Additionally, Mercy Corps policies and procedures that affect Complex Programs have been updated in recent years, such as the launch of the new Program Management Policy. This combination of internal evolution of the process and updated policies and procedures have created a need for a more thorough review of the current guidelines with the intention of updating them to be more reflective of the current state of Mercy Corps programming and operations and maintain the objective of supporting these programs.

Starting in January 2022, the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) engaged in a thorough review and update process with the goal of creating a new set of Complex Program Guidelines that provided clear and thorough explanations of the processes within the Complex Program system, as well as resources for Complex Programs to meet these guidelines. The process began with an in-depth stakeholder engagement phase where users of the Complex Program system provided inputs on both their experience of the Complex Program system as well as their overall thoughts on how to support Complex Programs. The SLT processed and analyzed the data and used it to inform the outline of the new guidelines. A consultant is needed to support the next steps of creating the actual guidelines document and accompanying resources as well as Design a rollout plan for the new guidelines.

Consultant Activities:

Design layout of Complex Programs 2.0 Guidelines document, responding to feedback and Analysis conducted over the first generation of guidance Coordinate drafting with SLT and contribute to composition of Guidelines document Create the rollout and Change Management plan for Complex Programs transition from 1.0 Guidelines to 2.0 Guidelines Design one-day training methodology and toolkit (including slides, video scripts, checklists, tip sheets, or other material) to train/orient global teams on new guidance Design Guidance 2.0 process monitoring plan to track the overall performance of the new Complex Program system through its first phase of roll-out (12 months)

Consultant Deliverables:

Detailed work plan and deliverable deadlines Final Complex Programs Guidelines 2.0 layout/template Complex Programs Guidelines 2.0 Roll-out and change management plan Final Complex Programs Guidelines 2.0 Training Plan and Toolkit Complex Programs Guidelines 2.0 Monitoring Plan


The consultancy is anticipated to begin on/around January 30, 2023 and extend to May 1, 2023 for a maximum of 60 days of work. An initial calendar of deadlines will be established in consultation with the SLT project team.

Reports Directly To: Complex Programs Process Manager

Works Directly With: Complex Programs Guidance Revision Working Group, Strategic Leadership Team, Performance and Quality team, New Initiatives, and Headquarters and Country Office finance, HR, MEL, and operations teams

Required Experience & Skills

Seven years of experience in program/project management, policy design, change management, training, and/or similar area. Advanced degree in international development, program management, communications, Organizational Development/behavior, etc. In lieu of advanced degree, a Bachelor’s Degree with three additional years of experience will be accepted. Prior experience designing and/or leading a policy, process, or guidelines rollout to a large global organization. Prior experience designing training materials, including presentations, scripts, resource documents, etc. Familiarity with Mercy Corps processes and systems preferred. Excellent written English skills.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding International Relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, Monitoring and Evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect Local Laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

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